Thu, Apr 18, 2019 10:10

EVM glitches in 11 states of 2nd part of Lok Sabha polls


Over 15.80 crore voters will decide the fate of the 1,600-odd contestants.

Voting for 95 Lok Sabha seats is underway across 11 states and the Union Territory of Puducherry. 

Tamil Nadu holds the key in the second phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections that began on April 11 and will continue till May 19.

Glitches in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPATs) were reported during early hours of polling. 

Voters in Assam’s Silchar complained of the VVPAT malfunctioning.

In Uttar Pradesh, EVMs glitches are reported from Agra, Mathura, and Hathras.

Thirty-eight of 39 Lok Sabha seats of Tamil Nadu are up for the grab in Thursday’s polling. 

Polling in Vellore Lok Sabha seat was canceled Tuesday by the Election Commission following the recovery of the huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently. 

Bypolls in 18 assembly constituencies is also taking place in Tamil Nadu.

Besides Tamil Nadu, the elections are taking place for 14 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar, and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry. 

Voting for 35 assembly constituencies are also taking place in Odisha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the voters to come out in large number and exercise their franchise. 

PM Modi tweeted, “Dear Citizens of India, Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha polls start today. I am sure all those whose seats are polling today will strengthen our democracy by exercising their franchise. I hope more youngsters head to the polling booths and vote!”

In the early hours of voting, several high-profile politicians and other personalities cast their votes. 

Among the early voters were Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan and his daughter Shruti in Chennai; Congress leaders P Chidambaram in Sivaganga and Sushil Kumar Shinde in Solapur. 

Defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman voted in Jaynagar of Bangalore South constituency, from where the BJP has fielded Tejaswi Surya, the 28-year-old lawyer.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah, who cast her vote in Imphal and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasami were also among the early voters in the second phase of the polls.

Originally, the polling was scheduled in 97 Lok Sabha constituencies but while the polling in Vellore was canceled after huge cash seizure, the Election Commission deferred voting at Tripura East Lok Sabha seat to April 23, when the third phase of national elections will be held. 

The poll body cited prevailing law-and-order situation for postponing polling in Tripura.

Going by 2014 election results, the NDA holds maximum influence in the constituencies voting in the second phase.

Of 95 Lok Sabha seats voting on Thursday, the AIADMK won maximum 36 followed by the BJP with 27. 

The Shiv Sena holds four Lok Sabha seats while the Janata Dal-United one. 

This takes the NDA tally to 68 of 95 Lok Sabha seats.

In the Opposition camp, the Congress had won a maximum of 12 seats in 2014 followed by the Biju Janata Dal at four. 

The Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal-Secular, both allies of the Congress, had won two seats each. 

The AIUDF, the NCP, the PDP, the AINRC, the PMK, the CPI-M, and the TMC had won one seat each in 2014.

In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the prominent faces in the second phase of the parliamentary polls contest are Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, and BJP leader Hema Malini.

On the Opposition side, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, and Kanimozhi; Congress leaders Verappa Moily and Raj Babbar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah are among the top contestants.

Over 15.80 crore voters will decide the fate of the 1,600-odd contestants.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in five more phases on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.

The votes will be counted on May 23.